I’ll criticize the New York Post while offering my own advice. Twofer!
According to the employment-oriented Web site LinkedIn, if you haven’t secured a post-college job before graduation, the sweet spot for snagging your first position as a career professional is between April and June.
Ironically, that’s the same time period during which 65 percent of the Class of 2018 plans to “take it easy.” The slackers believe “#ItWillWorkOut” whenever they happen to be ready, reports the Tylt, a social polling and opinion platform that focuses on millennials.
Not ironically. Most jobs become available in the spring because of corporate bookkeeping. April is a major filing deadline for businesses as well as you. Tax seasons are loosely quarterly but spring is special because seasonal industries like construction & tourism come out of winter hibernation at about the same time. Employers tend to delay hiring until they know what the year’s budget and workload will be. If you don’t find a job quickly at graduation then there’s commonly a secondary hiring spike around October/November, again a bookkeeping thing more than a Christmas thing, but otherwise why not be a ski bum for a winter?
So it’s up to you, grad. Have your choice of jobs now, or choose from the leftovers later.
If you can get work in your selected field then great. But you probably can’t right away so the best option is finding low-level work that relates to what you want to do. Temp agencies if you’re the accounting type, deliveryman if you want fieldwork, private security or lifeguard if you’re inclined towards the public sector and so on. This is the best way to overcome “needing experience to get experience”.
It also helps to know where your major can take you. A recent study by LinkedIn reveals that your college major may qualify you for jobs you didn’t consider. People with degrees in marketing often get hired as recruiters. Communications majors can end up in marketing and production roles. Psychology majors win entry-level jobs as research assistants, administrative assistants and case managers. “Think outside the classroom,” says Blair Decembrele, LinkedIn’s career expert.
This is code for “if you majored in communications, marketing or psychology then you’re screwed and better take any job you can get”. Which is true but even so, you should try to get a job in what your degree is because that’s why you got it in the first place and it gives you a leg up on the competition; probably your only leg up when starting out.
Experts have one tip for all job seekers: Don’t spend more than 20 percent of your time applying for jobs on Internet job sites — 80 percent of us get jobs through someone we know.
Then the Baby Boomers decided to hire third-world wage slaves instead of their own sons and here we are, in a land where 80 percent of us get jobs though social media. Get with the Nineties already, you “industry experts”.
If your parents/uncle give you your first job then I’m happy for you. If that isn’t you then you’re reading this article and Craigslist is your friend. Most employers don’t want to make a huge production out of hiring. Half a dozen resumes per position is good for most companies and Craigslist is the oldest, most local and most accessible jobsite for the average employer.
Shopping yourself in-person to every company in an area is only awkward. If they have a opening then it’s probably on the Internet. Human Resources will not keep your application on file.
Personal story: When I was young and hungry, I went to several megacorp-sponsored job fairs. Got to talking with the next guy at an aerospace one. He told me that most of the guys waiting in line to talk to the recruiter were former employees here to be rehired. Aerospace is project-oriented work so the executives’ habit was firing everybody when a job was completed or product line shut down. The workers (including high-level engineers) went en masse to other companies for another specific job, got fired again, and eventually came back to their original employer to be rehired and used for another cycle. When you see a large company offering a huge number of jobs, this may be what’s going on… in which case, your only way in is to be invited in. I’ve no idea how a new kid does that.
Employers also value soft skills almost as much as hard skills, says millennial employment expert Bruce Tulgan, author of “Bridging the Soft Skills Gap: How to Teach the Missing Basics to Today’s Young Talent” (Wiley). Teamwork tops the list. Tulgan suggests pulling an example from real life, showing that you understand your place and how you contribute to the team. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, he says.
This is code-talk for Diversity Hiring. Hard skills is what white men have (along with some Asians & Latinos). It’s illegal for an employer to discriminate but they’re rewarded by the gov’t if they do. If you’re a one-armed nigress named La’Keeshu then by all means, add a picture of yourself to your resume so the recruiter will know you check three Diversity boxes. Excuse me, “soft skills”.
If you’re white & male then you can still put a pic on a resume. If they’re going to discriminate against you then it’ll save you the effort of a meatspace interview. I like to see a picture myself because I screen for visible tattoos, weird piercings, problem glasses, strange haircuts, androgyny and spaghetti arms. Many employers do that but even more are uncomfortable judging by appearances.
…Aside from being racist against white male Christians. (I might be biased from living in California.) I regret to say that racism is a thing in hiring these days. Everybody will do it and nobody will talk about it. There’s a lot about hiring that nobody will talk about so treat it like a numbers game.
If you’re going to take time off, don’t stay idle too long, says Dan Schawbel, a millennial workplace expert and the author of the forthcoming “Back to Human: How Great Leaders Create Connection in the Age of Isolation” (Da Capo, out in November). “Corporations tend to hire people who are passionate about their work,” he says.
Speaking for Silicon Valley, corporations hire slaves who know to stay on the plantation… that’s the ‘passionate’ part. Myself, I don’t mind employment gaps so long as the gap wasn’t spent sponging on worker’s comp or other welfare for the obvious reason that I don’t want to pay for your next “gap”.
Realistically, so long as you do good work while on the clock then most employers won’t give a care about enthusiasm. Passionate about your work, come on, most of us don’t work dream jobs. On-time and good attitude, the box is checked, so keep a good attitude doing those McJobs while looking for your break. Trust me, it’s an enduring life skill.
So if you can’t find a job right away, learn a useful skill that you can teach yourself, pick up from a friend, or learn via a free or reasonably priced course online.
Schawbel suggests something that’s high in demand like computer programming, social media, Web site development or even artificial intelligence if you’re really ambitious. Once you are done, find a freelance job using the skill.
He doesn’t know what life is like outside the tech sector. Don’t constantly train for new skills. Do yourself a favor and work fun gigs if your search stalls. You’re young, you can take time off from job hunting to be a rafting guide or something. Never forget to enjoy your life the best you reasonably can.
Sending a thank-you e-mail within 12 hours [of the interview] is my top recommendation,” says Wessel. If you want to really impress your prospective employer, she suggests hand delivering a written note the next day. “Don’t worry about coming off as too desperate — you’re a recent grad, and they know you want the job,” she says.
Shrug, I’ve never heard of a manager refusing to hire someone because they didn’t say thank you. I’m not doing you a favor by interviewing you; it’s in my own best interest and I won’t forget your existence, either, until I make a hiring decision. For my part, I won’t send you an apology for not hiring you because honesty would cause me trouble. Thin-skinned morons can’t handle rejection but they can sue quite easily.
The competition for jobs in a densely populated area like New York can be tough. “If possible, try not to be too picky about where you work from a location perspective,” says Wessel. “Lots of great companies are hiring in locations you may never expect, and sometimes, you just need to enter the door in that location, work your way up, and then after a year or two, you can likely make the argument for moving to an office that you’d rather be in.”
This dumbass doesn’t know it’s raining outside. “Don’t be afraid to relocate to get your first job even if you have to leave NYC”… who is this Wessel? WayUp CEO Liz Wessel… hmm… damn, she’s my next blog post. Let’s just say that men can’t “work your way up” the way she did.
So, new grads, spend a month or two finding work in your expertise if you can. If not then find a temporary job to pay the bills and build a somewhat-related work history as you settle in for the long haul of today’s employment market for natural-born male citizens. Live clean, keep fit, watch the boards, don’t stress about being the Best Candidate Ever and don’t put your life on hold while you search. And stay out of debt. Debt is slavery.